World Media

Kentucky's Last Abortion Clinic to Face Off Against Governor

Kentucky's Last Abortion Clinic to Face Off Against Governor

Steve Pitt, attorney for the state, told the court Wednesday that the state is trying to protect women's health by enforcing the law, which has been in place for almost 20 years, the AP reports. They argue that while the Kentucky law may not explicitly deem abortion illegal, the closure of EMW would effectively do just that, making the procedure impossible to legally obtain in the state.

Planned Parenthood joined the lawsuit because it alleges that Gov. Matt Bevin and "his administration waged a "campaign of fear and intimidation"-including a threat to block millions of dollars in public funds from University of Louisville Hospital-to prevent Planned Parenthood from getting a license", the Courier-Journal reports".

A group gathered at the federal courthouse in downtown Louisville Tuesday night to rally for abortion access. "It could be the first surgically abortion-free state in the United States of America".

EMW says it already has emergency plans in place to transport patients to a hospital in case of a rare complication, and the state's hospital requirement is an attempt to shut it down.

"The stakes in this case couldn't be higher: the very right to access legal abortion in the state of Kentucky is on the line", said the clinic's founder, Dr. Ernest Marshall. Bevin is an openly and proud Christian, and there's nothing wrong with that, but failing to uphold one our nation's founding principles of separation of church and state is unacceptable.

"Women don't wake up in the morning and say, 'I think I'll get my hair done and have an abortion, '" Adams said.

"The transfer agreements' requirements in question - which were enacted in 1998 and not questioned for 19 years - are important measures for ensuring women have the proper life-saving procedures in place in the event of an emergency", said Bevin's spokeswoman, Amanda Stamper.

Kentucky is one of seven states with just one abortion provider left. The other lawsuit is challenging a new Kentucky law requiring doctors to conduct an ultrasound exam before an abortion, then try to show fetal images to the pregnant woman.

Now, both sides will argue over the validity of these agreements.

EMW's legal team believes the case "falls squarely" within a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Texas regulations that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced clinics to meet certain standards for outpatient surgery.

"We're going to keep on regardless of how the court rules", protester Leah Hankins said.

The state claims it is guarding patient safety and women would still have access to abortions should the clinic be forced to close.